Let Justice Roll!

November 30, 2011

Hi, pumpkins!

I ordered the Hunger Games series to read over Christmas break. Have you guys read them? Will I totally love them? I honestly have no clue what they’re even about. Like not even the slightest. I don’t know if they’re about a girl or a boy or a group of friends or wizards or Ewoks or dentists from the 1600s. I’ve just heard that they’re good and that a movie is coming out soon. Apparently I’m easily influenced by popularity.

I just finished a fairly intense exegetical paper on Amos 5. It involved a lot of translating and commentaries and dictionaries. Everyone’s favorite things. It’s a difficult passage because there are a couple of verses that everyone has trouble translating and figuring out. We talked through the passage in class last night and it was super fascinating.

Through Amos, God basically tells Israel that he’s super upset with them. If they bring him burnt offerings, he’s not going to accept them. If they bring him sacrifices, he won’t look at them. If they play him songs, he’s not going to listen.Β  Then comes a verse about justice rolling and righteousness flowing.

Side note: I automatically think of the beginning of dc talk’s Free at Last when I hear that verse. What’s that? You wish I had a video of them singing it on the Arsenio Hall show? This is totally your lucky day, you guys!

Ok, back to the text and the verse about justice rolling down and righteousness flowing.

I didn’t put this in my paper, because I’m not good at the thinking, but many Bible scholars believe this passage is saying that what God will accept — what he is asking Israel to do — is promote justice and righteousness.

Justice and righteousness should never cease. Justice and righteousness is what their worship should come from. God isn’t rejecting their ritual because he doesn’t like ritual. He’s the one who commanded it in the first place. But what my professor thinks is that Israel had worship all wrong. Worship — Sunday morning, daily devotionals, songs, the Lord’s Supper, and everything else — should flow out of a life of justice. This is what God wants. This is what he requires.

What, then, does this mean for us today? What does it mean for how we live, how we serve God, what we view as worship? I’m honestly asking the questions because I’m still processing everything. I think it’s something for us to deeply consider. Israel thought they were doing great and God came in and told them they weren’t. What would God say to us? What would the prophets say if they came into our churches and our Christian lives today? Are we doing what he’s asked of us?

Thoughts? Let’s chat about it!



17 Responses to “Let Justice Roll!”

  1. Wait, what? You were saying something about Amos? Because all I’m hearing is Decent Christian Talk.

  2. Meghan said

    I’m curious about the Hunger Games too! πŸ™‚ I have the books on CD on reserve at the library (since I have an hour commute one-way) so I’m interested to listen to them. Looking forward to what others have to say though, like you, I have heard good things. πŸ™‚

  3. Julie Abel said

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the Hunger Games. Denise you need to get the low down from Jacob. He is a big fan as well, and it takes a lot to impress him when it comes to fiction.

  4. denisemorris said

    Decent Christian Talk.

  5. Jill Denise Anttila said

    Thank God that He fulfilled His justice due me through Christ!

  6. Sarah said

    Hunger Games: very good. Highly disturbing. I had no clue what to expect when I started reading them either. But they’re not about dentists or Ewoks, fyi. Enjoy! Oh, and p.s., graphic violence is a yes if you’re wondering what’s involved.

  7. Kerry Wester said

    I am afraid to think what God would think of our worship today Denise. In a society where everything is instant and drive through I don’t think we take the time to prepare our hearts for worship. We get up at the last minute, rush to get there, make sure we stay inside the allotted 45 minute time frame and hurry home to watch football or nap. We can’t even set aside 1 full day to give the worship due our Savior. I have been so convicted lately about this! Thanks for your thoughts! I only wish I had a solution and the cooperation of my household to change. Heck I wish I had the discipline and conviction to change myself. I think I just may start to work on it!

  8. What the justice idea speaks to me is that even when Israel (or the church) is going through the right motions and saying the right things and even when their heart is the in the right place, it can be despicable if they are sheltering themselves from a dying and hurt world around them. I mean, what can all the best songs ever written, sung by the most talented artists add up to compared to feeding the hungry and taking in orphans and healing the sick? BEING the hands and feet instead of just talking about it… instead of just selfishly enjoying the benefits of being saved yourself, with no concern for your neighbor. BUT, easier said than done, right?!
    P.S. i wanna read the hunger games series too. i got the first one but was reading some other book that some girl said i should read…. mudhouse something or other πŸ˜‰ … and had to return it before i even cracked it. it’s apparently in high demand, no renewing 😦

  9. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!! how did you get that footage?? they are so young! you threw me back to when I was 13. they were and still are my favorite band. the end of my life was when they broke up. oh my goodness the baggy pants, the hair, the dance moves. comon!! THIS. TOTALLY. MADE. MY. DAY!

  10. denisemorris said

    Kerry and Rebecca — thanks for the thoughts! Rebecca, I agree — I think that’s the idea of worship flowing out of a life of justice. I think we sometimes have it all wrong. Did you like Mudhouse?!

    Holly — I have a fancy connection to a little site called YouTube. Isn’t it so fun?! I LOVED dc talk. I still do. πŸ™‚

  11. Becky said

    Both my husband and I finished all three books from The Hunger Games series in a week. They are ridiculously addicting in a teen fiction, Twilight-y sort of way (minus the vampires.) Except I didn’t really like Twilight.

    Although the third one wasn’t quite as good as the first two, I haven’t read books that captivating in a long time. And I personally haven’t met anyone who didn’t like them.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you think!

  12. denisemorris said

    Becky, thanks! I’m so excited to read them!

  13. Brandy said

    Denise, I am obsessed with the Hunger Games. Seriously, it borders on my obsession for Harry Potter. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read the books. Definitely read it before you see the movie this spring!

  14. Anonymous said

    The backup dancers are doing the breast stroke in a distracting way. This song made me super happy. Also, Hunger Games rock, and I incorporate the first book into my curriculum because it’s that good.

  15. Laura said

    “Anonymous” is me. I remember your DC Talk shirt from Lebanon days. My own DC Talk sweatshirt lives in my closet, because it’s not really wearable any more but I can’t say goodbye.

  16. denisemorris said

    Brandy! HP comparison! Oh my — now I’m super excited!

    Laura — I had shirts. Plural. ha!!!

  17. clarissasparkman said

    That back-up dancing is pretty sweet! What are the hunger games? Does it involve eating? If so, count me in!
    I love the thought of promoting justice and righteousness. I feel like I suck in these areas more than I should..

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